There shall be a County Council of Wicomico County, Maryland composed of seven (7) members, five (5) of whom shall be elected from a different Councilmanic District and two (2) of whom shall be elected from the county at large.
Composition. Wicomico County, Maryland, shall be divided into five (5) Councilmanic Districts, numbered one (1) through five (5). The qualified voters of each of such districts shall elect a resident of that district to serve as a member of the Wicomico County Council. All of the qualified voters of the county shall vote at large for the remaining two (2) members of the Wicomico County Council. The members shall be nominated and elected by the qualified voters of the county at the same time as the members of the General Assembly are or may be elected under the laws of Maryland from time to time.
Districting procedure. The boundaries of Councilmanic Districts shall be established within two years after the publication of the Decennial Census figures of the United States Bureau of the Census.
Whenever district boundaries are to be established or re-established, the County Council shall appoint, not later than February 15 of the year prior to the year in which redistricting is to be effective, a redistricting commission. By September 1, the redistricting commission shall prepare, publish and make available to the public a plan of the proposed councilmanic districts and shall present that plan to the County Council. The plan shall provide for councilmanic districts that are reasonably compact, contiguous and substantially equal in population.
No less than fifteen (15) calendar days and no more than forty-five (45) calendar days after receiving the plan of the commission the Council shall hold a public hearing on the plan.
Following the public hearing, the Council may adopt the plan as presented or may make any modifications or amendments to the plan.
Seventy (70) days following presentation of the commission's plan, the plan as finally adopted by the County Council shall become law.
Note: It is the intent of the Council to establish a Redistricting Commission to initially propose a Redistricting plan. After Public Hearing the Council may adopt the Commission's Plan, or may adopt revisions. However the time at which the Redistricting Plan as finally adopted becomes law is based on the original presentation of the Commission's Plan.
Note: Original language: "in 1989 and reestablished in 1992 and every 10th year thereafter."
Qualified voter. No person shall be eligible for election to the office of member of the County Council, or hold such office, unless he is a qualified voter of the county.
Appointments. No member, former member or member-elect of the Council shall be eligible for appointment to any compensated county office, position or employment, except the Office of County Executive, during the period beginning with the date of his election to the County Council and ending not less than one (1) year after the expiration of the term for which he was elected to the Council or resignation therefrom.
Other offices. No person shall hold office as a member of the County Council while he holds any other office or employment for profit of or under the state or county.
Forfeiture. If a member of the County Council ceases to be a qualified voter of the county or is convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude, he shall immediately forfeit his office.
Change in residence. During his term of office, if any member of the County Council who is elected from a Councilmanic District, shall move his residence from the Councilmanic District in which he resided at the time of his election, he shall have been deemed to have resigned from office; but no member of the County Council shall be required to vacate his office by reason of any change in the boundary lines of his Councilmanic District made during his term. If any member of the County Council shall move his residence out of the county he shall have been deemed to have resigned his office.
Members of the County Council shall hold office for terms of four (4) years and until their successors shall qualify. They shall qualify on the first Tuesday in December following their election, or as soon thereafter as practicable, and shall enter upon the duties of their office immediately upon their qualification, except that the terms of the members of the first County Council shall extend only to the next quadrennial election and until their successors have qualified for office.
Expense allowance. Each member shall receive allowances for traveling and any other necessary expenses actually incurred in the exercise of his official duties, as provided in the expense budget adopted by the Council.
Compensation and allowance commission. The County Council shall establish by law a commission empowered to recommend to the County Council compensation and allowances to be paid to the members of the County Council and County Executive.
When established, the commission shall set the compensation and allowances within fifteen (15) days after the beginning of the fourth (4th) year of the term of each Council. The commission by resolution shall submit its determination for compensation and allowances to the County Council. The commission may recommend an increase or decrease in the compensation paid to members of the County Council.
Upon receiving the resolution, the Council may approve, reduce or reject the commission's recommendation, but it shall not increase any item in the resolution.
The recommendations contained in the resolution shall become effective upon the adoption by the Council of a bill encompassing the recommendations, but the salary specified at the time a Council takes office shall not change for that period during which the Council was elected.
The bill making any change in the salary paid to members of the County Council shall be adopted prior to the election for the members of the next succeeding Council and take effect only for the members of the next succeeding Council.
[Amended 8-7-2012 by Res. No. 131-2012; 8-2-2016 by Res. No. 101-2016]
One (1), two (2) or three (3) vacancies. One (1), two (2) or three (3) vacancies occurring simultaneously in the office of the County Council prior to the expiration of the term thereof shall be filled by a qualified person or persons within forty-five (45) days after the vacancy occurs by the County Council, by election by majority vote of the remaining members thereof, from a list of four (4) persons for each vacancy to be submitted to said County Council in writing by the local State Central Committee of the political party with which the respective Councilman or Councilmen so vacating have been affiliated. The nominees or appointees shall be of the same political party and from the same councilmanic district as the person or persons whose office or offices are to be filled or from any district if the vacancy is from a council-member elected at large. Unless there is a special election as described in Section 206 to fill the seat, any member so elected shall serve for the unexpired term of his predecessor in office and until his successor shall qualify.
More than three (3) vacancies. If more than three (3) vacancies occur in the County Council simultaneously and prior to the expiration of their terms, the vacancies shall be filled within thirty (30) days by the Governor of the State of Maryland, who shall appoint the persons to fill such vacancies whose names shall be submitted to him in writing by the local State Central Committee of the political party with which the respective County Councilman, or Councilmen, so vacating has been affiliated. The nominees or appointees shall be of the same political party as the persons whose offices are to be filled. Unless there is a special election as described in Section 206 to fill the seat, any member so appointed shall serve for the unexpired term of his predecessor in office and until his successor shall qualify.
[Added 8-2-2016 by Res. No. 101-2016]
Any person appointed pursuant to Section 205 more than 30 days prior to the filing deadline for the primary of an election for President of the United States shall serve until the first Tuesday in December following the general election for said President, and a special election shall be held contemporaneous with the primary and general of said presidential election to fill the balance of said term at which any qualified candidate may file.